Shanghai Terrace - how much?
From what I read, Shanghai Terrace is tasty but expensive. How expensive? My wife is preggers so the liquor bill shouldn't be bad. How much are apps and entrees?
Also, assuming I decide that S.T. is too expensive, I'll need another rec on short notice for Saturday night. We're catching a show at Water Tower, so in that area is good. My wife loves the Asian/seafood theme...Catch 35 was her first choice but is booked...so was Roy's. Any others where I can get by for $50-60pp excluding liquor?
McCormick & Schmick - I know its a chain, but for good seafood near Water Tower, it's a great option. I love their fish, nice atmosphere, and definitely within your budget. If the Rush street location is booked, they just opened a new location on Wacker, less than a block from Catch 35.
Blue Water Grill - has good seafood, but its overly trendy for my taste, and I've only been there for lunch, so I'm not sure if it would break your budget at dinner.
I assume that since your wife is pregnant, you don't want sushi.
Other possibilities for Asian - Vong's Thai Kitchen, Ben Pao (neither of these are particularly authentic options, and they are definitely not as good as Shanghai Terrace, but they have decent food)
Shanghai Terrace can be kept under $50-$60/person (without tax, tip and drinks) if you order only 2 courses (app & main, or main & dessert). Apps are $12-$20; entrees $26-$42 or so.
I think the restaurant Kevin would be ideal (an Asian-fusion place that has been around for quite a few years). It is also fairly expensive, but in your price range and in the neighborhood. I'd also recommend Le Colonial (French-influenced Vietnamese fine dining). It's one of my favorite places and not terribly pricey except in context to authentic neighborhood Vietnamese restaurants. You could have a fantastic meal for $50/person.
my wife and I had the tasting menu and with tip came out to 300 bucks for a very poor meal and a very angry couple. Having grown up in san francisco I think there is very poor chinese food in chicago. While I know one could spend a lot less at shanghai I believe you would be better off elsewhere and having spent twice as much alinea I would be sooooo happy to that instead.
Just to follow up, we ended up going to Le Lan. I had also considered Le Colonial, but my wife had a so-so meal the one time we went and, well, since it was her birthday I deferred to her request to try someplace else. Kevin and S.T. made the short list, but I ultimately doubted we could enjoy ourselves and stay in budget.
Anyway, we were surprisingly blown away by Le Lan. Why is this place not more popular? It was certainly full for dinner, but it was one of the few places where I could get a reservation at pretty much any time with only a day's notice.
The food was very good to excellent; the service was fantastic (loved the guy who came over to explain all the dishes); and the prices were great. We ultimately went a little over budget, but mostly because I ordered the most expensive entree at $35. I've already recommended this place to others and will be going back. Thanks for the recs, all.